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Contemporary Art Magazines: A Critical Writing Reading Group #14
3 Jul 2017, Mon 07:00 PM - 08:30 PM

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This is a reading group that aims to generate conversations on both the contemporary art scene and the practice of publishing and writing about art. We will be reading Mousse #58 this session, so join us for a lively discussion!

To RSVP and find out which publication we will be reading this session, please email

About Mousse #58

In collaboration with documenta14, this issue discussed matters related to the exhibition.

A – Mousse is a contemporary art magazine. Established in 2006, and publishing five issues every year, Mousse is made of interviews, conversations, and essays by some of the most important figures in international criticism, visual arts, and curating today, alternated with a series of feature columns. Mousse is peculiarly printed as a newspaper and bound as a magazine.
Mousse keeps tabs on international trends in contemporary culture around the world. Mousse has an average print run of 35,000 copies and widespread distribution in Europe, America, Australia, and Asia, as well as in Italy, where it is available free of charge.

B – Mousse is a publishing house of catalogues, essays, curatorial projects, artist books, and editions.
Find out more at

C – Mousse is an agency that creates visual and communication projects for contemporary arts and culture initiatives.
Find out more at

(de)Tour with Dr Els van Dongen (Belgium/Singapore) Assistant Professor, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore
5 Jul 2017, Wed 07:30 PM - 09:00 PM

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What can be glimpsed from Ulrike Ottinger’s images of China in the transitional period following the Cultural Revolution? Dr van Dongen will discuss the images through the lens of the changing economic, social, and cultural fabric of 1980s and 1990s China. Apart from reflecting on what we can gain from placing the images in their historical context, the presentation will also explore various other layers of the relation between art and history.

Image credit: Ulrike Ottinger, Polizisten in Hongkew, 1996. Context: Exile Shanghai, China.

Tour of China. The Arts – The People led by NTU CCA Singapore curators
2 Jun 2017, Fri 07:00 PM - 07:30 PM
24 Jun 2017, Sat 03:00 PM - 03:30 PM
24 Jun 2017, Sat 05:00 PM - 05:30 PM
7 Jul 2017, Fri 07:00 PM - 07:30 PM
4 Aug 2017, Fri 07:00 PM - 07:30 PM

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Tours of on-going exhibitions led by NTU CCA Singapore curators are held every first Friday of the month. To register, email

Note: Tours on 24 June (Saturday) are held on the occasion of Art Day Out x School Holidays at Gillman Barracks. In addition, tours are also arranged for Mandarin speakers on 24 June at 3.00 – 3.30pm, and on 7 July (Friday) at 7.00 – 7.30pm.

For more information on Ulrike Ottinger: China. The Arts – The People, click here.

Image credit: Ulrike Ottinger, Familie von Seminomaden vor ihrem Winter-Lehmhaus, 1987. Context: Johanna d’Arc of Mongolia, Xi Wu Zhu Mu Qi Banner, Mongolia. Courtesy the artist.

Screening: Shoot for the Contents by Trinh T. Minh-ha, filmmaker and writer (Vietnam)
7 Jul 2017, Fri 07:30 PM - 09:00 PM

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Reflecting on Mao’s famous saying, “Let a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend”, Trinh T. Minh-ha’s film—whose title refers in part to a Chinese guessing game—is a unique excursion into the maze of allegorical naming and storytelling in China. The film ponders questions of power and change, politics and culture, as refracted by Tiananmen Square events. It offers at the same time an inquiry into the creative process of filmmaking, intricately layering Chinese popular songs and classical music, the sayings of Mao and Confucius, women’s voices and the words of artists, philosophers, and other cultural workers. Video images emulate the gestures of calligraphy and contrast with film footage of rural China and stylised interviews. Like traditional Chinese opera, Trinh’s film unfolds through “bold omissions and minute depictions” to render “the real in the illusory and the illusory in the real.” Exploring color, rhythm and the changing relationship between ear and eye, this meditative documentary realises on screen the shifts of interpretation in contemporary Chinese culture and politics.

This Screening is part of the public programme of Ulrike Ottinger: China. The Arts ­– The People, Photographs and Films from the 1980s and 1990s.

Image credit: Trinh T. Minh-ha, Shoot for the Contents, 1992, film still. Courtesy the artist.

Residencies Insights: Ergonomic Futures, lecture by Tyler Coburn (United States), Artist-in-Residence
12 Jul 2017, Wed 07:30 PM - 09:00 PM

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Ergonomic Futures is a multi-part project that asks questions about contemporary “fitness” through the lens of speculative evolution. Consisting of seats designed for future bodies that currently serve as museum furniture, a website (, and a lecture, the work comes out of Tyler Coburn’s interviews with paleoanthropologists, ergonomists, evolutionary biologists, and genetic engineers. To each he has asked: What are future scenarios for imagining new types of human bodies and how might this thought experiment reframe conversations about body normativity in the present day?

In the lecture, Coburn will discuss genetic engineering, the founder effect, postplanetary living, and other matters that contribute to the biological, philosophical, and legal definition of the “human.”

Stagings: Shaman/Peasants – Dance of the Barefoot Guardians, co-presented with Arts Fission
14 Jul 2017, Fri 05:00 PM - 06:30 PM
14 Jul 2017, Fri 07:30 PM - 09:00 PM
28 Jul 2017, Fri 05:00 PM - 06:30 PM
28 Jul 2017, Fri 07:30 PM - 09:00 PM

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Admission fee: $15 (excludes booking fee of $1)
Tickets available here
Tote Board Arts Grant here

This performance responds to Ulrike Ottinger’s penchant to making films/documentaries based on everyday life and in diverse settings, from urban to rural environments. The title Shaman/Peasants alludes to the two factors related to the rise of communism in early 20th century China. The Chinese Communists built their revolutionary momentum with the support of the “Peasants” and later sealed their faith with the Land Reform Movement that changed the destiny of old China forever. “Shaman” is the intermediary between the deep-seated connection of human and land, who breed myths and beliefs among the people. The contemporary dance will encompass incongruous movement motifs that aim to build tension by pitching bizarre individual characters against a repressive, conforming performing ensemble.

30-min performance with post-show dialogue with Arts Fission Artistic Director Angela Liong

Commissioned by NTU CCA Singapore and co-produced with Arts Fission.

Shaman/Peasants is endorsed and supported by the National Arts Council Arts Education Programme (NAC-AEP) under the Public Arts Programme. Schools may use the Tote Board Arts Grant to subsidise 50% of the programme ticket cost. Performance booking form here. NAC-AEP programme information here.

This is a public programme of Ulrike Ottinger: China. The Arts – The People.

In Conversation with artist Ang Song Nian (Singapore), artist Chua Chye Teck (Singapore), and artist and filmmaker Sherman Ong (Singapore/Malaysia). Moderated by Silke Schmickl (Germany/Singapore), Curator, National Gallery Singapore
19 Jul 2017, Wed 07:30 PM - 09:00 PM

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Fiction or reality, images produce their own narratives and temporal connections and are open to many interpretations infused with the personal experiences of individual viewers. Working with photography, sound, and video, different practices consider and question everyday life, and intersect with memory and notions of displacement and the self. Join the panel of artists for an open conversation about image/meaning making in contemporary art practice.

Image credit: Ulrike Ottinger, China. The Arts – The People, 1985, film still. Courtesy the artist.

(de)Tour with Kan Shuyi (Singapore), Curator of Chinese Art, Asian Civilisations Museum
26 Jul 2017, Wed 07:30 PM - 09:00 PM

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Throughout her artistic practice, Ulrike Ottinger has accumulated a large collection of objects and images, the latter including not only photographs taken by her, but also postcards, illustrations, iconographic documents, etc. The pictures, when released from the hoard to be assembled and recombined, become active objects that “perform” various appearances of realities. Does a collection —or more precisely a hoard of objects and images —create meaning for its bearer or other audiences? Hear from curator Kan Shuyi as she offers a museological perspective towards looking at repositories as potential meaning-bearers.

Image credit: Ulrike Ottinger, Marble decoration in the (inner) yard of a country house, 1985. Context: China. The Arts – The People, Yunnan. Courtesy the artist.

Contemporary Art Magazines: A Critical Writing Reading Group #15
31 Jul 2017, Mon 07:00 PM - 08:30 PM

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This is a reading group that aims to generate conversations on both the contemporary art scene and the practice of publishing and writing about art. We will be reading Texte Zur Kunst #106, The New New Left this session, so join us for a lively discussion!

To RSVP and find out which publication we will be reading this session, please email

About Texte Zur Kunst #106, The New New Left

The theme of this issue – The New New Left – is not entirely “new new,” as indeed it relates to the old anti-capitalist Left in its insistence on a theoretical analysis of capitalism and the price paid by many in such a system. But as the discourses and strategies long associated with the Left (workerism, identity politics, or the mode of the avant-gardist troll) have been adopted by anti-progressive outlets, it has become increasingly complex to locate a Left stance from which to effectively speak and act. This issue explores the affective mechanisms and media strategies – from the rise of viral content (memes) to the harvesting and right-wing politicization of emotions – that are producing our post-millennial, post-financial crisis, post-Brexit/Trump present.
TEXTE ZUR KUNST stands for controversial discussions and contributions by internationally leading writers on contemporary art and culture. Alongside ground-breaking essays, the quarterly magazine – which was founded in Cologne in 1990 by Stefan Germer (†) and Isabelle Graw and has been published, since 2000, in Berlin – offers interviews, roundtable discussions, and comprehensive reviews on art, film, music, the market, fashion, art history, theory, and cultural politics. Since 2006, the journal’s entire main section has been published in both German and English. Additionally, each issue features exclusive editions by internationally renowned artists, who generously support the magazine by producing a unique series.


Speakers’ Corner
26 May 2017, Fri - 1 Aug 2017, Tue

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Speakers’ Corner

Islanded (26 May – 11 June 2017)
Incidental Scripts (13 June – 28 June 2017)
Proximities and Encounters (29 June – 14 July 2017)
Ready, Steady, Go (15 July – 1 August 2017)

NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore presents Speakers’ Corner, a public resource platform comprising of video documentation of public programmes and related research material from the Centre’s archives.

Speakers’ Corner serves as a metaphor for public discourse created through the various public programmes of NTU CCA Singapore since its inception in October 2013. Speakers’ Corner presents a range of discussions held and questions under what conditions and parameters we create our knowledge, and in the languages employed. All together this is what creates a public discourse or a “speakers’ corner” within an institution, which can take forms of the academic, literary, or performative. It opens up the possibility for encounters with the known and unknown, the expected and unexpected, as a form of its lively activities.

NTU CCA Singapore’s public programmes reflect on our present world through culture and art. Over the two month installation, Speakers’ Corner will be presented in four chapters: “Islanded”, “Incidental Scripts”, “Proximities and Encounters”, and “Ready, Steady, Go”. Each chapter relates to an exhibition held at NTU CCA Singapore such as Incidental Scripts (2014) by Yang Fudong (China) or Sea State (2016) by Charles Lim Yi Yong (Singapore) or to invited local and international Artists-in-Residence and their artistic research and practices like Heman Chong (Singapore) or Zac Langdon-Pole (New Zealand/Germany). On a broader scheme, the events offer an expanded reading and understanding of the complexity and diversity of the contemporary art production of today and how it intersects with current developments in culture, society, and politics.

The Speakers’ Corner programme includes:

Islanded, 26 May – 11 June 2017
Content from The Geopolitical and the Biophysical: a structured conversation on Art and Southeast Asia in context symposium Part II, 17 – 18 June 2016

Incidental Scripts, 13 June – 28 June 2017
Content from Yang Fudong: Incidental Scripts, 12 December 2014 — 1 March 2015

Proximities and Encounters, 29 June – 14 July 2017
Content from Theatrical Fields, 22 August 2014 — 2 November 2014

Ready, Steady, Go, 15 July – 1 August 2017
Content from multiple sources including talks by Artists-In-Residence and visiting scholars

Image credit: Still from video documentation of past public events at NTU CCA Singapore. Courtesy NTU CCA Singapore.

Daily Screenings: Exile Shanghai by Ulrike Ottinger, artist and filmmaker (Germany)
27 May 2017, Sat - 13 Aug 2017, Sun 01:00 PM - 06:00 PM

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Exile Shanghai (1997) tells the stories of six German, Austrian, and Russian Jews that intersect while exiled in Shanghai. Through narratives, photographs, documents, and music and images of the contemporary city, the film is a real-life epic with significant historical value. Albeit the film focuses on the life of Jewish refugees, it stresses at the same time the very condition of the exiled, preserving their culture in midst of another.

Visually, the interconnectedness of different histories and people is emphasised by the diversity of cultural influences. This moment of openness of Shanghai created a whole cosmos within the city. Presented through the lens of the exiled, its tone is nonetheless optimistic, converted through the enthusiasm of the characters.

Exile Shanghai is part of the daily screenings of Ulrike Ottinger: China. The Arts ­– The People, Photographs and Films from the 1980s and 1990s. It is presented at The Single Screen on every other day, alternating with Johanna d’Arc of Mongolia.

Exile Shanghai is screened on the following dates:

6 June 2017, Tuesday
8 June 2017, Thursday
10 June 2017, Saturday
14 June 2017, Wednesday
16 June 2017, Friday
18 June 2017, Sunday
20 June 2017, Tuesday
22 June 2017, Thursday
24 June 2017, Saturday
28 June 2017, Wednesday
30 June 2017, Friday

2 July 2017, Sunday
4 July 2017, Tuesday
6 July 2017, Thursday
8 July 2017, Saturday
12 July 2017, Wednesday
14 July 2017, Friday
16 July 2017, Sunday
18 July 2017, Tuesday
20 July 2017, Thursday
22 July 2017, Saturday
26 July 2017, Wednesday
28 July 2017, Friday
30 July 2017, Sunday

1 August 2017, Tuesday
3 August 2017, Thursday
5 August 2017, Saturday
9 August 2017, Wednesday
11 August 2017, Friday
13 August 2017, Sunday

Image credit: Ulrike Ottinger, Regen (Rain), 1996. Context: Exile Shanghai, China. Courtesy the artist.

Daily Screenings: Johanna d'Arc of Mongolia by Ulrike Ottinger, artist and filmmaker (Germany)
27 May 2017, Sat - 13 Aug 2017, Sun 01:00 PM - 04:00 PM
27 May 2017, Sat - 13 Aug 2017, Sun 04:00 PM - 07:00 PM

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Johanna d’Arc of Mongolia (1989), starring Badema, Lydia Billiet, Inés Sastre, and Delphine Seyrig, is Ottinger’s only feature fiction film shot in East Asia. Staged in the legendary Trans-Siberian Railroad, the film starts by introducing four different Western women, each representing a story from different epochs, and who meet on this train. A group of Mongolian female warriors kidnap them, and the story unfolds amidst multiple cultural misunderstandings. The intersection of the fictional and the documentary arises from the encounter with the foreign, which intervenes unpredictably and filled with humour along the plot.

The entire film is a homage to the way nomadic cultures leave their mark along the travelled paths, and embraces the migration of culture. Different kinds of narration are explored within this feature, emphasising cultural relations, similarities and contrasts, as well as how misunderstandings can be productive.

Johanna d’Arc of Mongolia is part of the daily screenings of Ulrike Ottinger: China. The Arts ­– The People, Photographs and Films from the 1980s and 1990s. It is presented at The Single Screen on every other day, alternating with Exile Shanghai.

Johanna d’Arc of Mongolia is screened on the following dates:

7 June 2017, Wednesday
9 June 2017, Friday
11 June 2017, Sunday
13 June 2017, Tuesday
15 June 2017, Thursday
17 June 2017, Saturday
21 June 2017, Wednesday
23 June 2017, Friday
25 June 2017, Sunday
27 June 2017, Tuesday
29 June 2017, Thursday

1 July 2017, Saturday
5 July 2017, Wednesday
7 July 2017, Friday
9 July 2017, Sunday
11 July 2017, Tuesday
13 July 2017, Thursday
15 July 2017, Saturday
19 July 2017, Wednesday
21 July 2017, Friday
23 July 2017, Sunday
25 July 2017, Tuesday
27 July 2017, Thursday
29 July 2017, Saturday

2 August 2017, Wednesday
4 August 2017, Friday
6 August 2017, Sunday
8 August 2017, Tuesday
10 August 2017, Thursday
12 August 2017, Saturday

Image credit: Ulrike Ottinger, Tsam Zeremonie im Grasland, Abt und Lamas vom Tempel Xili Tu Zhao, 1988. Context: Johanna d’Arc of Mongolia, Grassland, Mongolia. Courtesy the artist.

The Migrant Ecologies Project (Lucy Davis, Kee Ya Ting & Zai Tang)  
Bird People Series 1/8 (Lim Kim Seng & Lim Kim Chua)
24 Jun 2017, Sat - 3 Sep 2017, Sun

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The mixed-media selection presented in The Vitrine stems from Railtrack Songmaps, a project exploring competing claims to nature and culture that resound along the former Malaysian railway tracks at Tanglin Halt. For at least five decades, birds, nature lovers, songbird clubs, tree shrines, kampung gardeners and foragers have roosted and seeded themselves along the tracks, nurturing a tangled patch of urban wild that is currently undergoing redevelopment. The particular constellation of elements on display – photographs, Malay pantuns, embroidery on paper, and delicate airborne assemblages of images, cut-outs and coconut sticks – weave in and out of memories of Lim Kim Seng, who together with his brother Lim Kim Chua, joined the Nature Society of Singapore (NSS) as teenager. Both are now senior members of the NSS Bird Group. Kim Seng assisted The Migrant Ecologies Project in the identification of 105 bird species around Tanglin Halt. In an accompanying soundtrack he recalls how an early encounter with a kingfisher first drew him into a bird zone.

The Migrant Ecologies Project was founded in 2010 by artist, art writer, and educator Lucy Davis. Investigating movements and migrations of nature and culture in Southeast Asia and beyond, the project unfolds through collaborations with sound artists, photographers, scientists, and designers.

Lucy Davis has been an Artist-in-Residence at NTU CCA Singapore from April to June 2017.